The creatures in the Medimon project were inspired by Pokémon — but unlike their namesake, players might not want to catch them all.
Take Pancreatitis: A fish scarred by calcium deposits, gnawing on its own fin while carrying a bottle of booze and a bag of gallstones.
He’s far from adorable. But he might help players remember that pancreatitis causes the pancreas to form calcium deposits and digest itself, and that alcohol consumption or gallstones can cause it.
“My goal in Medimon is to have everything have a double meaning.”
— Tyler Bland, Assistant Clinical Professor
Medimon: A Game of Medical Monsters is the invention of Tyler Bland, an assistant clinical professor in the Idaho WWAMI Medical Education Program. He teaches pharmacology, the science of drugs and their uses.
“Pharmacology is a thread here in the Idaho WWAMI program, which means that it runs throughout years one and two for the medical students,” Bland said. “When they learn about the heart, I come in and teach heart pharmacology. When they learn about the gut, I teach gut pharmacology. Because of that, I need to know a lot about what else they need to learn.”
Bland noticed students studying with an app that uses cartoons packed with mnemonic devices. While he was trying to help them memorize the difference between two classes of bone cells, a bone-wearing Pokémon popped into his mind. He realized that combining the two ideas could create a fun, innovative way for the medical students, who will someday serve in Idaho and beyond, to get to know the body better.